Redcurrant and lemon cake with redcurrant syrup

August’s recipe from Thinkingcountry’s resident seasonal recipe writer, Holly Betts.

In early August I went home to Scotland and found that this year our redcurrant bushes had produced a glut of berries! Redcurrants are just sweet enough that you can eat them on their own but they are quite seedy and so very nice added into other things such as summer pudding, crumbles and of course made into redcurrant jelly. For me they are one of the most attractive berries in a lovely shiny red. This month I chose to try and work them into a cake and this is the fresh and fruity result!

400g of redcurrants (half for the cake and half for the syrup)

250g caster sugar + 50g for the syrup

120g soft butter

100g cream cheese

3 eggs

Zest of 1 large lemon

Juice of ½ lemon

375g self-raising flour

½ tsp baking powder

250g plain yoghurt

  1. Preheat the oven to 180O I used a bundt or kugelhopf mould but you could probably do this in an ordinary cake tin. If you are using a metal tin grease lightly and add a dusting of flour to stop the cake from sticking. I used a silicon mould which makes the cake much easier to get out.
  2. Once you have gathered the redcurrants gently use a fork to separate the berries from their stalks and give them a wash. Dry and then dust in two tablespoons of flour. This should help stop them sinking straight through the cake.
  3. Beat together the sugar and butter before adding the cream cheese and mixing well until light in colour. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well in between each addition and then mix in the lemon zest and juice.
  4. In a separate bowl mix the flour and baking powder. Then add this into the sugar and butter mixture a little at a time alternating each bit with some yoghurt until everything is combined.
  5. Finally fold in the redcurrants, saving a few to scatter over the top, and pop the batter into the cake tin.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes checking to make sure the cake is cooked the whole way through. Wait for the cake to cool down before gently extracting it from the mould.
  7. To make the syrup place the berries and sugar into a small pan on a medium heat. Wait until the berries burst and begin to exude their juices, stir until the sugar has dissolved and heat for a few more minutes.
  8. To remove the pith and seeds strains through a sieve, coffee filter or even better through a muslin bag. This syrup is an optional extra but I find it makes a nice bright complement to pour over the cake when serving! Add more or less sugar as you like.

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